Nothing says French cooking more than a decadent dessert. Delicate macarons to feel like Marie-Antoinette, éclairs filled with the smoothest chocolate cream, or tiny yet delicious chouquettes to indulge in an especially gourmand breakfast—there are so many incredible options for a sweet tooth that it would be impossible to decide on just a few.
Even though France is the world capital of pâtisserie, there are a few classic desserts that best represent the country and its love for anything sweet (and buttery). From east to west, every region has its own specialities, equally delicious and indulgent. We’ve selected five of the best French desserts to cook at home. Taste a bit of France, wherever you are.
Île flottante—literally “floating island”— is as good as it is spectacular to bring to the table. A simple dessert made of vanilla custard topped with a floating meringue, usually finished off with salted caramel and sliced almonds. If you are searching for a showstopper for your next dinner, look no further.
Created in 1910 to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race, the Paris–Brest is still one of the most loved French pastries. Light and crispy choux pastry is filled with the most delicious praline custard, and it can be served as a small pastry or a cake-like dessert.
Canelé is a traditional small pastry from the Bordeaux region, in southwest France. The bite-sized dessert is filled with custard, caramelised on the outside, and is flavored with rum and vanilla. Perfect for a coffee or tea break, and as a mignardise at the end of a dinner.
This is probably one of the most famous French deserts around the world. Imitated by many but perfected by few, the traditional tarte tatin was invented by the Tatin sisters and served in their hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron. An accidental upside-down apple pie that secured the pair international (and forever) fame.
Tarte au citron meringuée
The most decadent of lemon-based desserts, the tarte au citron meringuée is a mouth-watering way to end any meal. A delicate buttery crust is filled with lemon custard and topped with a thick layer of meringue. The higher the meringue, the better.
- Want more French food? Here’s some Dishes to Cook at Home to Feel Like You’re in France
- But you really want to visit France soon despite this pandemic? Here’s all you need to know.
- Otherwise, transport yourself to France with art! Check out Where to Buy French Art.
Written by Alessia Armenise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.